Monday, December 31, 2012

Sometimes I Take Pictures

This is one of them.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Plastic Demoscene Group: Catzilla

Catzilla is our latest project to date. It's a real time PC benchmark that will get all the juices from your PC.
Finally we had some time to make a proper demo. It was made with a nice collaboration with Platige Image. We did the code, they did the art. The music was made exclusively by Bent 'subsquare' Stamnes.
Thanks for watching!

APOTD: A Star Making Waves


"The giant star Zeta Ophiuchi is having a "shocking" effect on the surrounding dust clouds in this infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Stellar winds flowing out from this fast-moving star are making ripples in the dust as it approaches, creating a bow shock seen as glowing gossamer threads, which, for this star, are only seen in infrared light.

Zeta Ophiuchi is a young, large and hot star located around 370 light-years away. It dwarfs our own sun in many ways -- it is about six times hotter, eight times wider, 20 times more massive, and about 80,000 times as bright. Even at its great distance, it would be one of the brightest stars in the sky were it not largely obscured by foreground dust clouds.

This massive star is travelling at a snappy pace of about 54,000 mph (24 kilometers per second), fast enough to break the sound barrier in the surrounding interstellar material. Because of this motion, it creates a spectacular bow shock ahead of its direction of travel (to the left). The structure is analogous to the ripples that precede the bow of a ship as it moves through the water, or the sonic boom of an airplane hitting supersonic speeds.

The fine filaments of dust surrounding the star glow primarily at shorter infrared wavelengths, rendered here in green. The area of the shock pops out dramatically at longer infrared wavelengths, creating the red highlights.

A bright bow shock like this would normally be seen in visible light as well, but because it is hidden behind a curtain of dust, only the longer infrared wavelengths of light seen by Spitzer can reach us.
Bow shocks are commonly seen when two different regions of gas and dust slam into one another. Zeta Ophiuchi, like other massive stars, generates a strong wind of hot gas particles flowing out from its surface. This expanding wind collides with the tenuous clouds of interstellar gas and dust about half a light-year away from the star, which is almost 800 times the distance from the sun to Pluto. The speed of the winds added to the star's supersonic motion result in the spectacular collision seen here.

Our own sun has significantly weaker solar winds and is passing much more slowly through our galactic neighborhood so it may not have a bow shock at all. NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft are headed away from the solar system and are currently about three times farther out than Pluto. They will likely pass beyond the influence of the sun into interstellar space in the next few years, though this is a much gentler transition than that seen around Zeta Ophiuchi.

For this Spitzer image, infrared light at wavelengths of 3.6 and 4.5 microns is rendered in blue, 8.0 microns in green, and 24 microns in red.

JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech."

For more information about Spitzer, visit and

Gangnam Style, Call Me Maybe, The Third Eagle of The Apocalypse, and Fun With Numbers

Posted by YouTube user: thirdeaglebooks 

Every once in a while the Internets gives us something we just can't help but be thankful for. Sometimes, it's a brief video of one of your favorite astrophysicists dancing to a Michael Jackson song. Other times, it's something so seemingly surreal, you just can't help but ponder how it came to be. The subject of today's entry, most definitely falls into the later category.

In his video "Antichrist Numerology In Gangnam Style", as well as countless other acts of crazy on his YouTube channel (including several more on both songs in question), former furniture engineer (cause apparently, that's a thing you can be) turned self-proclaimed "Co Prophet of The End Times" and "Third Eagle of the Apocalypse" AKA William Tapley, uses the age old pseudoscience of numerology to decipher the deep philosophical meaning behind the videos for "Gangnam Style" and Carly Rae Jepsen's, "Call Me Maybe". Both of which it turns out, are littered with secrete messages from the Antichrist. Which I don't completely disagree with. Well, I do. But I would like to think that the creators of such things are actually THE devil.   

Using the convoluted, Sudoku-like number game, that is numerology, numerologists like Tapely (who's also a Catholic, BTW. Which seems conflicting, but, whatever) are able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and otherwise BS their way into discovering triple fives and sixes or whatever else they might like, wherever they may go looking for them. From there, it's just a simple matter of applying the correct (and always predictable) theological/supernatural associations, with a little bit of confirmation bias, and serving of personal agendas in order to make your case.

In his video breakdown, The Co-prophet wastes little time before offering irrefutable proof of his claims; beginning his dissertation by decoding the scene to the left. A scene which he believes, is obviously meant to be a depiction of the four horseman of the apocalypse, as well as the lesser known two scantily clad dancing girls of the rapture.

In fairness, I added the bit about the dancing girls. But, really? THOSE are the four horseman? How disappointing would THAT be?

From there, we move on to the first "REAL" bit of numerology in the video, when Tapley clearly establishes that PSY is meant to rep his man the dark lord, based on the appearance of the number 18 on a column in this next scene. Which, as he clearly explains, can be decoded as:  

" 8 + 1 = 9, Or, of course, as the Antichrist's number, 6+6+6."

Yes, of course it could.  It's like when your math teacher taught you that 11 + 2 = 13. Unless of course it doesn't. In which case, the answer is 4. No? ... Never happened? DAMN YOU PUBLIC SCHOOLING!

Later, PSY apparently goes on to meet his rival, "the man in yellow" (believe me I'm just as shocked as you are to find out there's apparently an actual story arc involved) who young William pegs as a representation of the g-o-d, because he is: A) PSY's enemy. Remember, PSY is the devil. And, B) There are 3 fives on the man in yellow's license plate. I mean, really. They're right there. Ya, they're separated by some other stuff, but they're there. You can't argue with facts, man.

There's also another long winded and convoluted bit about the number of numbers a woman in the video has on her shirt, and who/what she's supposed to be. But otherwise, things pretty much deteriorate completely from that point into personal interpretations about god being depicted as cowardly (since his guy wears yellow) and weak (since his guy looses) and a few other pretty standard Antichrist/rapture related apocalypse nonsense about multiculturalism, ETC. but there's nothing particularly entertaining about them. And my absolute favorite of Tapley's mental leaps in this video, actually comes in his much less thorough decoding (in this video anyway) of Carly Rae Jepsen's, Call me maybe. Which, again, he concludes to be a nuanced allegory for the war between god and the antichrist. In this case, with Carly representing Satan/sin, and the gay man in the video representing god, based on the iron-clad logic that his fake phone number begins with the prefix 555. But that's not even the best part.

That honor goes to the astonishing feat of mental contortion required for his decoding of the song's chorus. Which he believes is the Antichrist announcing his arrival, by saying:

" I [The Antichrist] just met you, and this is crazy [This, being the tribulation] so here's my number [gives you the mark of the beast] so call me maybe [my name is Mabus]". Yes, THAT, Mabus.

Mabus, if you don't know, being one of MANY interpretations of the name given to the Antichrist by Nostradamus. That's right, he actually managed to find a way to force a Nostradamus reference into all of this. Amazing.

It could probably go without saying that this is all ultimately very silly, if for no other reason, then because this man has clearly put more thought and consideration into the content of these two songs and videos in nine minutes, than anyone involved in creating them did in the entire production process. But the real, and ultimately unanswerable question you have to ask when you discover people like William Tapley is; is he for real? And the truth is, Poe's law is a thing for a reason. And with something this seemingly overtly insane, you can never really know for sure. Although I am inclined to think he means it. Because if this IS a character, and not a genuine statement of belief. He has both, persistence (given he's been at this since at least 2008) as well as one dry-ass sense of humor.

And I haven't even mentioned his music yet...


Yes, that's right kids. The Third Eagle of the apocalypse apparently even managed to make it onto CNN earlier this year, after writing a BEAUTIFUL song for Mitt Romney. Which, sadly, did not become the theme for Mitten's campaign, as Tapley had hoped. But I've chosen a different selection from his catalog, an anti-abortion ditty called, "Love Of Life (Let Our Father Plan Your Family)". Enjoy!

Posted by YouTube user: thirdeaglebooks  

*EDIT:  After looking around a bit more, it seems Tapley may actually have made it on CNN first, for his video about phallic symbols at the Denver airport; which is God damn hilarious, BTW. But does it really matter?*

And Now, Neil deGrasse Tyson Dances To Michael Jackson

There WILL be gifs. Oh, yes- There WILL be gifs.

Seriously though, I'm making gifs.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sometimes I Take Pictures: Tara vs MST3k vs Gamera


Some Jerk got Tara an MST3K vs Gamera box set, which came with awesome little mini posters that I kinda wanted to steal... You can see more of them on the tumblr page.

This Week's Time Lapse: While You Were Sleeping, Perseid Meteor Shower 2010-2012

Posted by YouTube user: JeffSullivanPhoto

Via YouTube description:

"Three years in the making and mastered in 4K video resolution four times greater than1080p HD, this astrophotography footage by Jeff Sullivan was waiting for the perfect musical accompaniment, which turned out to be "While The Sun Was Sleeping" by Life Audience."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Preserved Megalapteryx (Moa bird) Foot

Preserved Megalapteryx foot, Natural History Museum
This image of a preserved Moa foot managed to make the rounds across the Internet last week, via a post on Reddit. Why it suddenly managed to make an appearance on the web, I'm not really sure, as Reddit post are often light on context. But, whatever the reason- it did. So, being a fan of prehistoric/extinct creatures, this seemed a descent enough excuse to write about one.

The appendage in the picture, which is currently held by the Museum of New Zealand, was found in a cave on Mount Owen in the 1980's. It belongs to Megalapteryx didinus (commonly known as the Upland Moa). one of a variety of extinct giant birds native to New Zealand, collectively known as Moa. You may already be familiar with at least the common name of this particular group of flightless birds -which went extinct around the year 15000 1,500, primarily due to hunting and deforestation- because of their appearance in a recently published paper in  the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, which used a collection of moa bones in a study meant to help determine the half life of DNA. Then again, we might have completely different interpretations of what constitutes "entertaining reading". So, maybe you've never heard of them before.

Sir Richard Owen 1879 W/the largest Moa, D. novaezealand
Growing to about human height, and weighing in   around an estimated 50-60 lbs, Megalapteyrx is actually one of the smallest varieties of these extinct birds. With the female members of the largest known variety of the species, Dinornis novaezealandiae or North Island Giant Moa (seen to the left) growing to be over 10 feet tall, and weighing in at 500 pounds or more.

Though all nine species of Moa are officially (meaning- scientifically) classified as extinct. Like many recently extinct species (such as the much more recently lost Tasmanian tiger(thylacine) there are those who claim a small population of moa may have managed to survive into the modern world, and now live hidden away somewhere in the remote wilderness.

The most recent of such claims, at least that I could find anyway, originated from a cryptozoologist in New Zealand, named Rex Gilroy. In 2008, Gilroy claimed to have discovered 35 separate ground prints in  a remote area of northern New Zealand, which he believes belong to a colony of up to 15 little scrub moa, amomalopteryx didiformi (Bush Moa). And while his claims are at least more plausible than those of isolated populations of giant moas still roaming the New Zealand wilderness, neither Gilroy's -nor any other similar claims- have ever been verified. 


Source: Wikipedia: Moa - Megalapteryx didinus - Dinornis novaezealandiae -   New (Gilroy's Tracks) - Reddit
Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

So I came up somewhat dry in my search for interesting moa videos. But, I did find this reading from, David Attenborough's Life Stories- Giant Birds. Which deals primarily with Madagascar's Elephant bird- particularly the size of it's eggs. But there's also a bit about the moa towards the end. Plus, it's David Attenborough, so- WIN.

Posted by YouTube user: Samael994

Neil's Puppet Dreams: To Catch a Puppeteer

Posted by YouTube user: Nerdist

Neil Patrick Harris is clearly a sick man. A sick, SICK, man. Which is probably why I like him so much.

Sulfur Dioxide Could Point to Active Volcanoes on Venus

Image Credit: Artist’s impression of an active volcano on Venus. Credit: ESA/AOES

Earlier this month, the ESA's Venus Express, which has been orbiting Venus since 2006, detected fluctuations in the sulfur dioxide content of the planet's upper atmosphere, which could potentially indicate the presence of volcanic activity on it's surface. As usual, taken on their own, the probe's findings are inconclusive, and a variety of other phenomena could also be responsible for the fluctuation; including regular but, as of yet undefined anomalies, within the circulatory patterns of Venus' atmosphere. But taken along with various other scientific observations made of the planet over the years, they do seem to reinforce the widely held view that Venus' surface could still very well be rich with volcanic activity.

So this story, originally from Dec 3rd,  goes on the list of science news items that I inevitably wind up missing in the noise of the web. And while I don't really have anything of value to add to it, since I don't have any scientific expertise of my own to offer, it seems like people only really care about space science if it involves potential alien life- if they care at all in the first place. And while keeping Venus extremely low, if not outright absent altogether where any list of potential home worlds for alien life forms is concerned is likely a pretty safe bet, that doesn't make understanding the science of how that world works, any less interesting or important. Because Aliens, are not the only reason to care about space.

That's why I was going to torment us both with a lot of text about all the interesting things I have now taken the time to learn about the planet, as a result of reading about the ESA's findings. Since, much to my own shame, I realized I actually didn't know much about the planet myself, outside of a few standard trivia-grade fun facts. But, thankfully for both of us, YouTube is a thing, and has yet to be fully cleansed of worthwhile content.

So instead, I offer Cosmic Journeys- Venus, the death of a planet, from Jason media, which you'll find below, and which includes loads of worthwhile information on the historical, as well as, the current scientific understanding of Venus itself, along a variety of other related astronomical phenomena. All in all, it's a pretty descent, and well produced series in general, and I really like it thus far. Although, in this particular episode,  I cold have done without the sci-fi tangent that picks up around the 4:30 mark. But in the producers' defense, I did go looking for First Spaceship on Venus, immediately after watching it.

Source: Red Orbit
Image Credit: ESA/AOES

Posted by YouTube user: SpaceRip

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Favorite Show EP07: Fun Facts And Fallacies


On This Week's Episode: Parents jailed for shaving daughters head and making her wear a diaper on it in public - Mcdonalds trades playgrounds for seating areas and the myth of Non-decomposing fast food - News from NASA's Curiosity rover - cancer and body modifications - and how to use more than 10% of your brain, Spoiler alert: You already do - And why science and critical thinking matters-

Our Favorite things for the week: Tara recommends the FX show Wilfred; while I  (once again) geek out over one of my personal obsessions, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the Millenium series.

As always, if you like the show, please support it by subscribing on iTunes.


The Last of Us - Story Trailer

Posted by YouTube user: PlayStation

This game continues to look amazing, and I want it to be a thing that I can have now.


Nile-like River of Liquid Hydrocarbons On The Surface On Titan

Text and image VIA: JPL Website

Image credit: NASA/JPL–Caltech/ASI
"Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have spotted what appears to be a miniature, extraterrestrial likeness of Earth's Nile River: a river valley on Saturn's moon Titan that stretches more than 200 miles (400 kilometers) from its "headwaters" to a large sea. It is the first time images have revealed a river system this vast and in such high resolution anywhere other than Earth.

Scientists deduce that the river, which is in Titan's north polar region, is filled with liquid hydrocarbons because it appears dark along its entire length in the high-resolution radar image, indicating a smooth surface.
"Though there are some short, local meanders, the relative straightness of the river valley suggests it follows the trace of at least one fault, similar to other large rivers running into the southern margin of this same Titan sea," said Jani Radebaugh, a Cassini radar team associate at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. "Such faults – fractures in Titan's bedrock -- may not imply plate tectonics, like on Earth, but still lead to the opening of basins and perhaps to the formation of the giant seas themselves."

Titan is the only other world we know of that has stable liquid on its surface. While Earth's hydrologic cycle relies on water, Titan's equivalent cycle involves hydrocarbons such as ethane and methane. In Titan's equatorial regions, images from Cassini's visible-light cameras in late 2010 revealed regions that darkened due to recent rainfall. Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer confirmed liquid ethane at a lake in Titan's southern hemisphere known as Ontario Lacus in 2008.

"Titan is the only place we've found besides Earth that has a liquid in continuous movement on its surface," said Steve Wall, the radar deputy team lead, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "This picture gives us a snapshot of a world in motion. Rain falls, and rivers move that rain to lakes and seas, where evaporation starts the cycle all over again. On Earth, the liquid is water; on Titan, it's methane; but on both it affects most everything that happens."

The radar image here was taken on Sept. 26, 2012. It shows Titan's north polar region, where the river valley flows into the sea called Ligeia Mare. The real Nile River stretches about 4,100 miles (6,700 kilometers). The processes that led to the formation of Earth's Nile are complex, but involve faulting in some regions.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and ASI, the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The radar instrument was built by JPL and the Italian Space Agency, working with team members from the US and several European countries. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena."

APOTD: 5 Galaxy Pile Up

This portrait of Stephan’s Quintet, also known as the Hickson Compact Group 92, was taken by the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Stephan’s Quintet, as the name implies, is a group of five galaxies. The name, however, is a bit of a misnomer. Studies have shown that group member NGC 7320, at upper left, is actually a foreground galaxy that is about seven times closer to Earth than the rest of the group.

Three of the galaxies have distorted shapes, elongated spiral arms, and long, gaseous tidal tails containing myriad star clusters, proof of their close encounters. These interactions have sparked a frenzy of star birth in the central pair of galaxies. This drama is being played out against a rich backdrop of faraway galaxies.

The image, taken in visible and near-infrared light, showcases WFC3’s broad wavelength range. The colours trace the ages of the stellar populations, showing that star birth occurred at different epochs, stretching over hundreds of millions of years. The camera’s infrared vision also peers through curtains of dust to see groupings of stars that cannot be seen in visible light.

Image: NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team [high-resolution]
Caption: Hubble Heritage Team
VIA: Wired Science

Christopher Hitchens - "If You Want To Be Awe Inspired"

Posted by YouTube user: bdwilson1000

Christopher Hitchens - 1949-2011 -

One year ago today,* the world become a slightly less rational, thoughtful, and interesting place to live, because Christopher Hitchens, stopped living in it.


*It was actually yesterday, as I apparently don't know how to cue things properly.

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Favorite SHow EP06: Traumatic Nipple Injuries And The Technological Singularity

This week's episode of My Favorite show is a bit longer than previous weeks, cause there just wasn't a lot I wanted to cut out. As a result, we cover a fairly wide array of things, from naked Florida news and the whole Korean unicorn lair thing, to the technological singularity. Once again, if you enjoy it, please subscribe on iTunes, ETC. ETC., and feel free to leave any comments or questions about the show/episode in the comments for this post.

In this weeks episode: Fun with Harrison Ford - North Korea gots a Unicorn Lair-  Not one but Two women in Florida (separately) take their masturbatory practices to the street- while another is arrested for a topless drive to visit her boyfriend -  a fully functional remote controlled transformer - Bill O' Reilly is still a douche bag - Facebook gives us compulsory couples pages - The pentagon creates rules for autonomous war machines - Mind controlled replacement limbs  - the technological singularity - A California family drowns attempting to rescue their dog - and a young girl is attacked by a dolphin.

Our Favorite things for the week: Tara gets a tiny rubber chicken, while I geek out about last month's Firefly reunion on the Science channel. But because the Science channel has carefully cleansed any and all worthwhile clips from said reunion from YouTube, Enjoy these bloopers istead.

Posted by YouTube user: lpbrault1921


Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Favorite Show EP05: Bring Out Your Dead

So we decided to take last week off for the holiday. But this week, My Favorite Show back with more strange news, politics, and such. As you may already have noticed, I also decided to update the artwork for the show, which I intend to do each month. Last month's cover, and the official artwork for the show "Teddy's Nightmare" was Tara's doing. So this month, I decided to use one of mine- which you likely already guessed, given the subject matter. Finally, you can also now subscribe to the show on iTunes if you'd like, and we'd greatly appreciate it if you did.

In Today's Episode: The Just-in Beaver sex doll- Naked Rage Monkeys- Black Friday Fun- Conservatives more susceptible to rationalizing their personal dogma? - A Florida woman causes an accident by shaving her crotch while driving- A Russian woman keeps her dead husbands body in her bed for 3 years- The tale of Key West's Count Von Cosel- A man is stabbed to Death by his fiance the night before their wedding- As well as a few other things.

Our Favorite things for the week: Tara talks about RiffTrax, movie commentary tracks from the creators of MST3K and I carry on about the short lived TV series Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Posted by YouTube user: RiffTrax

Sometimes I Take Pictures

Been a while since I got any took anything worthwhile, so please enjoy the above purplish, flower, thingy. See not EVERYTHING I do has to be dark and evil. I mean, ya, like 99.99% of it is. But I can take pictures of flowers too if I want to!